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Record classical music on budget
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 
Record classical music on budget

Hello!

I record mainly flute or violin with/without piano in a variety of room going from my bedroom to big auditorium. And I want to improve the quality of my recordings.

I’m currently using a Zoom H6 and a pair of NT5 (used as spot mic).

Should I keep the zoom H6 as the main stereo or better using the NT5 as the main stereo pair?
I’ve read a lot about the Line Audio CM4. Is it worth buying them as a main stereo and use the zoom only as an audio interface/recorder?

Being a student, my budget is very limited…

Thank you for your help!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
cannot comment on the quality of the built-in mics but chances are that external mics have better specs/yield higher fidelity and certainly are more versatile in terms of mic technique (m/s, ortf, a/b etc.) and positioning options. in addition, external mics allow to keep the recorder in a more convenient position so you still have access to it - there are very affordable but decent sdc's available these days (line audio, lewitt, rode etc.); maybe you can rent a pair before you commit to buy?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Here for the gear
 
Thanks for your answer.

I tried to place the zoom h6 as good as I thought and I use a remote control…

Not the most convenient for sure…

Here is an example :
Attached Thumbnails
Record classical music on budget-2b3103cd-00bc-409d-ad91-a2a9286eaa4f.jpg  
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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Pasta4lnch's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I do a lot of similar recordings in a similar variety of spaces. I have used an h6 in a pinch, but its not my fav. I generally use a pair of omni mics on a good wide stereo bar. If it's a really large room I'll take 4 and spread them out.

Looks like the pic about you're also filming? I do as well...I generally would put the h6 (I use decent cam mics now - I usually have 2 cameras too) on the camera and place the other mics where needed.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
I bought Rode NT5s before I knew anything about the Line Audio CM3. I haven't used the NT5s much at all since getting the CM3s.

The CM3 makes for a pleasant sounding piano recording. There's another thread here comparing the CM4 to the CM3 from which I understand the two mics are similar.

If you typically record in a room like the one in the picture you posted, and if you are on a very limited budget, it's a bit of a push to advocate for you buying the CM4.

If you could sell your NT5 at a reasonable price and then get the CM4s, that might be worth considering, particularly if you are going to continue to do recordings for several years.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks ➡️

If you could sell your NT5 at a reasonable price and then get the CM4s, .
Why would you sell the Rode NT5?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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pencilextremist's Avatar
 
9 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
yes line audio cm4 are well worth it they are very neutral and natural sounding

I have owned the rode mics mentioned and didn't like them, too bright for my tastes so sold my pair.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
If money is tight you might want to sell your NT5's to fund the purchase of the Line Audio mics.

However the NT45-O omni capsule is a direct replacement for the cardioid capsule, and is very reasonably priced. It will give you an omni mic that can be used at a greater distance than the Line Audio OM-1 omni mic, for greater detail pickup at distance (and lower self noise) than the OM-1.

This is a low cost way of getting into the omni mic world, using the mics you already have ...but if you are intent on only using the cardioid pattern then please ignore my suggestion above....the CM3 or CM4 will be a more preferable cardy mic than the NT5

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...t_Capsule.html

Last edited by studer58; 3 weeks ago at 01:43 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubledark ➡️
Why would you sell the Rode NT5?
Too bright for my personal taste as well; however, studer58 raises a good point that the omni capsule for the NT5 is well regarded. If the OP is recording in spaces better suited to an omni capsule, then it's certainly worthwhile to consider whether the cost of those capsules is worth it to the OP.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
I really like the NT5 as Omnis with the 45-o capsule. That’s probably my favorite low-budget mic, especially if you’ve already got the bodies.

Line audio mics also very good and useful. I’ve also had good experiences with the fathead ribbons (can’t remember exactly which model though), and have a few friends who swear by some cheaper AT condensers, though I haven’t used them much and don’t remember which models specifically they liked.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➡️
I really like the NT5 as Omnis with the 45-o capsule. That’s probably my favorite low-budget mic, especially if you’ve already got the bodies.

Line audio mics also very good and useful. I’ve also had good experiences with the fathead ribbons (can’t remember exactly which model though), and have a few friends who swear by some cheaper AT condensers, though I haven’t used them much and don’t remember which models specifically they liked.
One cheaper Audio-Technica mic that I swear by is the AT4022. Excellent omni, especially for the price. I imagine the cardioid 4021 is also good.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suquet.fo ➡️
Hello!

I record mainly flute or violin with/without piano in a variety of room going from my bedroom to big auditorium. And I want to improve the quality of my recordings.

I’m currently using a Zoom H6 and a pair of NT5 (used as spot mic).

Should I keep the zoom H6 as the main stereo or better using the NT5 as the main stereo pair?
I’ve read a lot about the Line Audio CM4. Is it worth buying them as a main stereo and use the zoom only as an audio interface/recorder?

Being a student, my budget is very limited…

Thank you for your help!
I have a lot of Line Audio CM4 and OM1 (now called Omni-1). They are all great. They take about 8 weeks to ship to the USA unless you pay for DHL, which comes in a couple days. I also have made some recordings with a Zoom H4N-Pro, which is similar to your H6 but your H6 has a bit better/quieter preamps.

There are many people here with more experience than I. I will just say that, in my personal opinion, I would likely not use the built-in H6 mics for anything except a backup track. They're not terrible, it's just that I think you'd have better sound using either your NT5 as a main pair (my guess for the best way), or as two spot mics.

So, I could tell you to run out and buy more mics, but to be honest, if your budget is tight, spend it all on renting a better room with a freshly tuned piano and also learn the right spot to put the mics you already have. One of the best recordings I ever made (piano+classical voice) was one of my first when i had no idea what I was doing---it was on a Zoom H4N-Pro with a single (mono) mic (AT4050) that I was holding in my hands (?!) in a good spot (got lucky) in a fantastic stone church with a great (and freshly tuned) piano. I have access to way, way better gear now and know what I'm doing a lot more than I did then, but nothing compares to the beauty of sound in that church (and many people who have heard the recordings strongly agree).

You're a student, so your university library likely gives you free access to the digital version of the new Decca recording book. That will give you an idea of where to put your main pair of NT5 once you find a great room.

Read it, then take your Zoom and go sneak in to your university's best concert hall the night after they've tuned the piano for a performance. No mic on earth can give you the same improvement over a 'meh' room as that will.

Also, I would just say that anything you can do to make it easy for yourself to set up/record is worth more than improving your mics. Just ask the soprano that I accidentally annoyed by taking a few extra minutes to set up gear when she was 'in the zone' ready to sing this summer... A simple setup with a pair of mains and everything in your H6 prepared the night before so you just have to hit the red button would be my preference---extra audio quality is worthless if it comes at a cost of even 1% of your performance.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #13
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JCBigler's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessitura ➡️
---extra audio quality is worthless if it comes at a cost of even 1% of your performance.
So how do you quantify percentages of a performance's quality?
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #14
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler ➡️
So how do you quantify percentages of a performance's quality?
By the amount my wife complains.
--scott
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #15
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler ➡️
So how do you quantify percentages of a performance's quality?
The same way we compare microphones.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think no matter what mics you deploy, many of us with those little Zoom Hx recorders have found that ultimately the pinch-point is the quality of the preamps. Bottom line - they're noisy. OK for close-miking or dialogue but as soon as you step more than a few feet away from a delicate source like flute or violin you notice, at least I do with the CM4s (which are also relatively gain-hungry condensers and not the quietest in class).

I'm no fan of the NT5 cardioids but it's quite possible that with those and something like a second-hand Sound Devices MixPre-3 you will do better than the Zoom H6 plus a pair of new mics.

Just an alternative POV to consider.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 3 weeks ago at 08:01 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #17
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann ➡️
I think no matter what mics you deploy, many of us with those little Zoom Hx recorders have found that ultimately the pinch-point is the quality of the preamps. Bottom line - they're noisy. OK for close-miking or dialogue but as soon as you step more than a few feet away from a delicate source like flute or violin you notice, at least I do with the CM4s (which are also relatively gain-hungry condensers and also not the quietest in class).

I'm no fan of the NT5 cardioids but it's quite possible that with those and something like a second-hand Sound Devices MixPre-3 you will do better than the Zoom H6 plus a pair of new mics.

Just an alternative POV to consider.
^^This was my experience as well, but I will say that the H6 pre's sound better (less noisy) than the h4npro, but not in the same league as MixPre. I use MixPre's a lot these days and love them---lower noise floor than anything Zoom, and they also just in my opinion give that extra tiny improvement in timbre. I think the OP should eventually want to work up to a MixPre-6 (get this, not the 3, as the 6 has 4 preamps and you'll want 2 pairs or a pair+2 spots for your application. Generation 1 is fine---you don't need Generation 2 mixpre on a budget as the difference for your application is very very small.) + some CM4's or OM1/Omni-1's.

My only point before was that your current setup + a good auditorium/church + a 'good musician day' is a much better recording than a more expensive setup and an off day or a less great room. Better gear will get you a lower noise floor and slightly improved timbre. On a tight budget, my advice is to work on the non-gear items (performance + hall + mic placement), as they actually matter more to your sound in general than the noise floor of your pre's or NT5 vs CM4.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
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voltronic's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Just chiming in to add my experience that the H6 has rather mediocre preamps, but those in the F series are very high-quality.

At the risk of fluffing the same product in two threads - you can save yourself some money buying a Zoom F6 instead of a SD MixPre-II 6 and get 6 preamps instead of 4, and still have multi-ADC 32-bit float recording.
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